"Madonna Dome" sits just above Boreas Pass in the Tenmile-Mosquito Range of Colorado. "Madonna Dome" is part of the Hoosier Ridge of the Continental Divide. The standard route from Boreas Pass to the summit begins at the historic Section House, built in 1882 to house railroad workers and their families.
From the summit of "Madonna Dome", the hiker can enjoy views of other mountains including Boreas Mountain (13,082), Bald Mountain (13,679), Red Peak (13,215), Red Mountain (13,229) and the ever-graceful Mount Silverheels (13,822), as well as the “numbered peaks” of Breckenridge. On a clear day, Pikes Peak (14,115) is visible in the distance to the east. The relatively short distance to the summit (less than 2 miles from the trailhead) makes a summit hike of "Madonna Dome" a pleasurable outing for all levels of hikers.
Colorado Rank: 1,119th highest mountain in Colorado
Colorado 12ers: 482nd highest 12er in Colorado
Prominance: 631 feet
Named for the Greek God of the North Wind, Boreas Pass (11,482 feet) is rich in mining and railroading history. The names of miners who worked the rock and the workers who built and maintained the Denver South Park & Pacific (DSP&P) paint a brilliant quilt of late 19th century United States immigration. Today, the railroad to the summit of Boreas Pass has been replaced by a gravel automobile route, and the area is popular among tourists and outdoorspeople of many stripes.
Primary image provided by Layne Bracy.
For more information in SummitPost about including the hike of "Madonna Dome" into a larger excursion along the Hoosier Ridge, click here.
Total distance from CO 9 to Boreas Pass summit: approximately 6 miles
- South of Breckenridge, locate Boreas Pass Road (Summit County Hwy 10).
- Follow this road south for about 6 miles to the summit of the pass.
From U.S. Hwy 285 and Rd 33 at Como
Total distance from Como to Boreas Pass summit: approximately 6.5 miles
- Take Park County Rd 33 northwest through Como.
- At Robert’s Cabin, turn a hairpin turn to the right to stay on Route 33.
- Follow this road north to the summit of the pass.
A note on road conditions
Regardless of your starting point, the road to Boreas Pass is a mix of paved, “formerly paved and full of deep potholes” and graded/washboarded gravel. Keep an eye out for bicyclists.
Boreas Pass Section House Route information
Red TapeFollow LNT (Leave No Trace) principals and be courteous of other recreationalists.
LodgingFollow these links for details on lodging in the area of "Madonna Dome".
South Park Ranger District of the Pike San Isabel National Forest
Fairplay Where to Stay Lodging Listings
Breckenridge Resort Chamber
WeatherNote that Boreas Pass is not plowed throughout the winter, making a snow season ascent of this peak a major undertaking. Additionally, certain stretches of the Boreas Pass Road are known for winter avalanche activity. This peak is most easily attempted after the snows have melted in the spring or before the snow flies in the fall.
Winter Access"Madonna Dome" is accessible in snow season to the skier or snowshoer willing to make the trek up the closed Boreas Pass road. Stay warm and cozy the night of arrival by booking a bunk in the Section House.
Be prudent! Before venturing into the pass, contact the Colorado Avalanche Information Center.